First Dog

ShaneS

Member
I am starting to plan getting my first dog and wanted to start a conversation with more knowledgeable people to get opinions. Currently i am looking at getting a Labrador retriever.

Firstly i want it to be a family dog with the possibility of working it now and then. I have never been, nor do i have the connections to take it retrieving or tracking i would however like to train it to do one, or both. Mainly to provide enrichment and if i get those connections later in life, all the better.

I am currently working from home, but i suspect i will be going back to working in the office most the week soon. I plan on training for the dog to feel safe on its own and work on any separation anxiety it will have.

I have never owned a dog so any criticism or advice would be greatly appreciated. I would love a dog but not at the cost of its well being.
 

deerstalker.308

Well-Known Member
A Lab (the right one) would be a good choice for sure. Good luck.
This is true, but don’t assume just because it’s a lab it will be straight forward. There are very noticeable differences in attitude and personality between working and field trialing lines and those that typically go on to be guide dogs and or for showing, they are not a one size fits all dog as many perceive. Just because they are very popular doesn’t make them inherently “easy”. They are big and strong, and often wimps, so like company, they need a lot of mental and physical stimulation.
 

Siggy

Well-Known Member
If I wasn’t fecking about with GWPs I’d get a Labrador - what they lack in drive (which you will very rarely need and most have enough anyway) they make up with patience which needed every step of your stalks.

oh, and there is nothing as nice as the smell of a wet labrador
 

ShaneS

Member
This is true, but don’t assume just because it’s a lab it will be straight forward. There are very noticeable differences in attitude and personality between working and field trialing lines and those that typically go on to be guide dogs and or for showing, they are not a one size fits all dog as many perceive. Just because they are very popular doesn’t make them inherently “easy”. They are big and strong, and often wimps, so like company, they need a lot of mental and physical stimulation.
Thanks for the info, i'll keep this in mind when talking to breeders. Is there a typical difference in temperaments between bitches and dogs?
 

deerstalker.308

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the info, i'll keep this in mind when talking to breeders. Is there a typical difference in temperaments between bitches and dogs?
Nope, not that I’ve noticed, that comes down more to what you work best with, which unfortunately you will only work out with experience.
my first dog (a springer) was a boy. He and I had a tempestuous relationship, despite him being my best mate. Since his demise I’ve steered away from dogs and have only kept bitches since. Have 2 labs and 2 cockers (well, currently 7 labs as we’ve got pups) but for me, I gel better with bitches, nothing more than personal opinion based on me and my experiences: you may be very different.
 

long_range_rob

Well-Known Member
I’ve had labs since I was four years old. I stick to black labs and they will do anything you ask of them. My favourite quote is “One day I hope to be as wonderful as my dog thinks I am!”
 

User00025

Well-Known Member
Had them for 30 years, the one lying down worked everything on top, underground and below water level. Used to train all the basics alongside my Labs. Every one would track and hold deer at bay when necessary, and all worked to fox. I just kept bitches. Great with the grandkids too.
 

NullMac

Well-Known Member
I agree about the lab. They work it out for themselves really, so a good first working dog. They will teach you a lot as well.

However....

How exactly are you going to "work on any separation anxiety it will have" ?

In the spirit of friendly comment, this sounds like a crap life for the dog, it will just want to be with you once it has formed a bond. They are pack animals, and they get bored just like us. You either need to be with it so it has some sort of life or have more than one dog so it isn't on its own. It's not just something you can pick up when its convenient.
 

Bowland blades

Well-Known Member
Lab is a very, very good choice my lab runs absolute rings around the GWP I spent ages training . All I did with the lab is let him know he wasn't looking for geese .
Trust me a goose on its feet and running , with bits of flight, swimming is far harder to track than a deer which to dogs stink to high heavens by comparison
It doesn't make them hard mouthed or noisy either
My labs love the kennel and have no issue with separation, they like sleeping , eating , watching the wildlife and stock . Talk separation problems and your talking most of the German breeds ! They are genrally speaking the very best of kennel dogs hence they replaced the flat coat ( which ain't)
 
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